Libertarians vs. Marxists: The Extremes Don't Touch
8 months ago
Willkommen im Schwitzkasten der Halbbildung!
Perhaps we are teaching statistics backwards. Instead of teaching students to try and come up with the correct result, we could teach what it feels like to rationalize one’s way through to non-objectivity.
A final exam question might go: This dataset consists of 5 completely uncorrelated variables — I’ve labeled the columns as ‘weight of cat’, ‘probability of attrition’, ‘color of cat [in RGB]’, ‘current age of subject’ and ‘SAT verbal score’. Find a way to make 3 statistically significant correlations and one non-significant correlation. You get an extra point for each spurious t-test you can come up with. The catch is that your entire analysis has to form part of a coherent story. Bonus points go to the 5 most concise answers.
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
Philip Carlo, The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract KillerOverjoyed, yet slightly appalled that Richard would even think of, let alone do, such a thing, the man gave him ten thousand dollars for the contract, and a second ten thousand dollars for the incredible suffering the mark had experienced."You did a good job," he said. Richard liked to please his customers; that was how his business had grown over the years.
The answer lies not in Knausgaard’s depth of revelation so much as the intensity of focus he brings to the subject of his life. He seems to punch a hole in the wall between the writer and reader, breaking through to a form of micro-realism and emotional authenticity that makes other novels seem contrived, “made up”, irrelevant. As [Zadie] Smith put it: “You live his life with him. You don’t simply ‘identify’ with the character, effectively you ‘become’ them.”
Sure, true believers in ubiquitous selfishness can grasp at straws to protect their dogma. Perhaps people donate blood for the free cookie, join the army because they might run for office one day, or give to charity in order to make business connections. Or maybe millions of average joes are clueless enough to believe that the blood supply, the safety of the free world, and the availability of charity hinge on whatever they personally choose to do.
Anything is possible, but that doesn't mean that anything is plausible. [...] Genuine altruism is all around us. Benevolence doesn't explain why bakers bake bread for paying customers, but it does explain why blood donors give blood to strangers for free.
I suggest that if there exists an incentive, the activity is not altruistic.
If I give a person $10 for drugs, and then I take the drugs and they give me an endorphin rush, that is not altruistic.
If I give a person $10 because it makes me feel good about myself, which gives me an endorphin rush, how is that altruistic?
I traded $10 for an endorphin rush either way. What is the rational distinction between them?
I'm a fan of the right to keep and bear arms. But I prefer unarmed police and restricted gun rights to strong gun rights combined with a police force that regularly shoots civilians 'by accident'.
Men are often startled when, without any warning, their dearly beloved suddenly asks “What are you thinking about right now?”
Naturally, the last thing a man should give is a truthful answer. Endless trouble will ensue if the man innocently replies: “Having sex with your best friend”. Therefore, in the unaccustomed role of agony uncle, I would suggest that men prepare a response in advance, and trot it out when required.
And even if one accepts the (contested) finding that self-identified race or ethnicity correlates with population structure, this finding does not justify a conclusion that “race” (or clinal class) has a biological basis. At the most quotidian level, the findings suggest that a statistical analysis of genetic ancestry informative markers of a population in the United States that self-identifies as “black” is likely to bear a relationship to an analysis of populations sampled in some region of sub-Saharan Africa. And a population that self-identifies as Chinese is likely to be statistically related with a population in China (Dupré 2008). That a new statistical technique has validated a high probability of such histories of migration is hardly revelatory; it does not establish a biological basis of race.But Shiao et al. clearly think just that: These findings show that race has a biological basis.
"I don't see the link," he says. "If this causes some sort of effect, why should those effects be criminal?If you tried to come up with a parody of the daftness of those mushy-heads in the social sciences, could you think of anything better?
"The things that push people into crime are very different kinds of phenomena, not in the nature of their brain tissue. The problem about the theory is that a lot of these [researchers] are not remotely interested or cued into the kinds of things in the mainstream.
"There has been a long history of people trying to link biology to crime - that some people have their eyes too close together, or an extra chromosome, or whatever.
"This stuff gets disproved and disproved. But it keeps popping up. It's like a bad penny."
Furthermore in the case of parent-offspring correlations on g, oversampling parental scores with positive errors of measurement on IQ, as by selecting those identified as high-g individuals based on high observed IQ scores for special study, will produce regression to the mean when assessing the IQ of their offspring, even if the offspring were genetically identical to the parents, given the nature of this statistical artifact. This can be confirmed by retesting the parents themselves, which is rarely done, because one will then no doubt observe regression to the mean of the parental IQ scores in the parents themselves, presumably without having undergone any genetic recombination whatsoever. The proposition that offspring are necessarily closer to the mean of the general population in their actual latent g-factor (as opposed to their observed IQ scores) is therefore a fallacy, especially under conditions of assortative mating.